Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I'm Building A Shrine...

...to this photo. I love it. The colour! The focus! The depth of field! The tiny glass feet!

Billy Law is an awesome photographer.

Almost... Got... It...

Where's My Coin?
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Dude, if you need change for the bus that bad just ask m'kay?

(Actually, this guy is a maintenance worker, but never let facts interfere with a blog entry.)

The worst thing is that this is a talking fountain which is triggered by anyone approaching it closely or throwing coins into it. The voice of the dog was recorded by one of Australia's most annoying right-wing radio announcers. I'm guessing that this guy was just about ready to kill himself by the time the problem was fixed.

Colin Friels Is Stalking Me

I mean, sure he pretended to be filming some movie or something at a video arcade on George St, and it was almost convincing when he faked the whole I'm just walking along buttoning up my jacket, not looking where I'm going, oops I almost banged into you routine as I walked past this morning. Just a coincidence that I happened to be walking past at the time?

I. Don't. Think. So.

(Can I just say, IMDB puts his age at 53. Geez, I think he's maybe had a hard life, dude needs better skincare or something.)

Monday, February 27, 2006

I Heart Fat Fighters

She's sort of the Mother Theresa of weight loss leaders.

Marjorie Dawes, my hero.

5 Monday Snippets

  1. If you buy an inexpensive shirt from a chain store (no matter how nice it is) you need to make peace with the fact that there is a possibility that you will get on your bus in the morning, and there will be a guy wearing the exact same shirt. He made it look good.
  2. Now that I've lost a noticeable amount of weight, I'm taking a renewed interest in buying clothes. Shopping is so much more fun when you don't have to cringe at the sizes.
  3. My long distance internet boyfriend was right, De-Lovely is just that, de-lovely. I bought the DVD the other day, and love it! I think we have similar taste in films, given our mutual appreciation for Mrs Henderson Presents.
  4. All this 30s and 40s vibe makes me want to wear big padded shoulders, oxford brogue shoes and baggy trousers. Ok, maybe not the baggy trousers, but I love the clothes of this era. When people really dressed up, you know?
  5. One thing I would not deal with though is the constant cloud of cigarrete smoke. It's accurate for the era, but man, the actors must have had to do a major detox after filming was over.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Sarah's Birthday Picnic

After a frantic morning yesterday spent racing around in the searing heat. First to drop in at Fat Fighters for 'processing' - the weigh in, or as I like to think of it the Kiss or Cry - (0.9kg lost this week, making a total of 3Kg in the past 3 weeks!), and then stopping by the Buddhist centre to finalise the stocktake numbers for the bookshop. It was sweet relief to join Sarah and some of my friends for a picnic to celebrate Sarah's birthday, under the cool shade of a huge tree. Sarah works and lives at an exclusive residential college near where I live, and the grounds are absolutely stunning. The college was built quite some years back, and mostly in the Gothic Revival style.

Oliver Swallows Fist
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Daen & Adrienne's new son Oliver makes a good attempt at swallowing his entire fist.

Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Spyder & Gordy's cute son AJ, a really sweet kid. Having just learned to walk he has the cutest little slightly bow legged stance, and walks like a real little tough guy.

College Grounds 1
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

The beautiful quandrangle at the college, where we had the picnic. Complete with Gothic Revival (and even a section of Renaissance Revival) architecture and a real 15th C Italian well cap in the formal garden.

Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Detail of the wonderful 15th C well cap.

College Grounds 3
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Gothic Revival meets Renaissance Revival. Lots of colleges and exclusive schools were built in these styles in Australia in the earlier decades of last century. Seems they were the offical styles of Culture & Learning.

So it was a lovely afternoon of being lazy, hanging out with friends and celebrating Sarah's Birthday. I did real well with my birthday gift of the 25th anniversary reprint of William Goldman's The Princess Bride. Last year at Sarah's party we hung out in the formal rose garden at the college, and I spent plenty of time with my God(less) Daughter Isobel (aka Grizzobel Moans). Fortunately, this year half my house hadn't fallen down when I got home.

A lovely afternoon.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Compassion & Wisdom

When I was in Katoomba last weekend, in the Blue Mountains, I saw this mural near where we parked the car and just had to take a couple of pics.

Detail, 1000 Armed Chenrezig
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

The Great Compassionate One, Arya Chenrezig, The Compassion Buddha.

I've always felt particularly drawn to Chenrezig, or Avoliketeshvara as he is also known. For Buddhists he represents the combination of compassion and wisdom. If 2 hands can give, and four hands can give even more, then imagine the practical works of compassion that 1000 hands could achieve. Within the palm of each hand is an eye, the wisdom eye, to symbolise wisdom combined with compassion. It's the wisdom of knowing what is the right thing to do, the wisdom of knowing when and how to exercise compassion for the greater good.

Compassion and wisdom are often referred to as the two foundation pillars of Buddhism, or the two wings of the bird. To emphasise that it is ineffective to have one without the other, resulting in dry wisdom that is empty of caring action or deeds that are compassionate in their inent but useless or harmfull because they aren't what's really needed.

1000 Armed Chenrezig
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Sorry, a lesson in Buddhism 101 was not my original intention. I've had a rough past 24 hours and have been thinking a lot about Chenrezig today, and a lot about compassion and how helpful it would be to have 1000 wisdom eyes right now. I won't go into too much detail out of respect for their privacy, but people I care about are going through tough times right now and I'm not sure what to do.

Someone I care and respect very much went into hospital for surgery today. I've been thinking about her all day, and her family who are also very dear to me. I just want her to be well, and I want the worry to be lifted off of her and her family.

Also, last night just as I was heading home from a fun night out with Brendan and the A List Gays I ran into a friend who was at the pub. Someone I have known for about 16 years. We ended up having a long and very distressing conversation about his health. I've noticed a change in his ability to focus and hold a conversation over the past few years, and frequently he tells me the same anecdotes a number of times over. Sadly, he can feel his mental faculties slipping away on account of his medical condition. He's angry, scared, somewhat suicidal, and feels like he's losing what makes him him. It's starting to seriously impact his everyday living, and making some simple things like reading a book difficult.

We talked, cried, laughed and sometimes just sat holding hands, until after 2am. By the time we left he was in a much better headspace, and we walked home together through the quiet streets as a light rain started falling, just like old times.

I'm not sure that it's the right thing to do, talking about this here. Baring other people's secrets. It's a little selfish on my part, because writing this helps to get my head a little straighter. The challenge is to know what is the right thing to do, to do my bit to somehow, even in a small way, make these situations better.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

I Have A Request

Please consider never, never, not ever, using the expression "Peace out!" again. Especially when combined with attendant 'peace' finger signs.

America especially, take note.

Thank you.

Finger Snaps From My Naturopath

One of my errands yesterday was a trip to the naturopath. It seems that I'm on the right track because my blood pressure is well down and my standard resident sinus infection has cleared up. My naturopath is a really nice guy, and was very complimentary about how much of a change I have made in my health since I started seeing him in the second half of last year.

Two things surprised the shit out of me though. Firstly, I knew I was losing weight because I started doing Weight Watchers a few weeks ago and they weigh you each week. Since I started with them I have lost over 2Kg. My naturopath weighs me each visit as well, and the last time I saw him was before Christmas. Since then I've lost 5.5Kg (about 12 pounds?). Umm, cool. So the walking started the process gradually, and the WW plan has just kicked it up a few notches.

Secondly, we were taking about how great I feel these days and I dropped what I thought was a bombshell. I told him that in hindsight I think I might have been suffering a capital D bout of Depression. His response, "Errr well yes, that was my diagnosis the minute you walked in the door". Oh-kay. Seems that he took one look at the sleeplessness, low energy and stress-related skin condition and put it all together. So part of the treatment has been aimed at snapping me out of that, and he (rightly) decided that it wouldn't have been helpful at the time to label me Depressed.

Anyhoo, the point of this waffle is that things have improved dramatically and he was very complimentary about how much effort I am putting into turning things around. I have a bit more work to do in terms of getting my diastolic BP down, even though at high 80s it's well down from the over the 100 mark that it was. All good news.

Birthday Boy

Now that my home phone and internet access are working again, I'm able to get some of my recent photos off my home pc. These pics are from my jaunt to the mountains for my friend Andrew's birthday party last weekend.

Andrew F: Princess
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Doesn't he look precious?

Birthday Boy
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Just in case you were thinking that he dressed like that all the time, here's a pic of the regular, more masculine, version. Cute, non? As I mentioned before, Andrew has his own online diary too.

Tonight I'm Gonna Party Like It's Space: 1999

Yesterday when I was out running errands, before waiting for the phone company to call, I saw the DVD box set of season 1 of the British '70s science fiction tv show Space 1999 on sale for $24.95. I loved this show as a kid, not so much for the two bland leads, but for the idea behind a moonbase (so cool!) and the fantastic futuristic look the show had design wise. I was a Design Queen even then.

Both Max and Ultrasparky recently linked to the site of a French woman Catherine Bujold who has slowly been making over her apartment in the style of Moonbase Alpha. I have to say, given that the designers of the tv show used fabulous 'futuristic' furniture designs (wow, the aliteration!) the end result is pretty cool. Most of the furniture was by leading Italian designers of the day, and is now also very collectible, so I would imagine that this was an expensive project!

The costumes for the series look a little like beige leisure suits when filtered through modern eyes, but in their day they were also quite 'futuristic' and the emphasis on comfort and ease of movement was something a bit new in uniforms. What I didn't realise until I saw the opening credits of the DVD was that they were designed by one of the masters of 60s & 70s futuristic fashions Rudi Gernreich. They have a sort of retro cool now, in a beige flares kind of way.

There are a bunch of fan sites still in operation, even including a bulletin board for gay Space 1999 fans.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Short Break In Transmission

My home phone is still not fixed as the fault seems to be inside the house, so it looks like I have to stay home tomorrow and wait for the telephone company guys to come, and hopefully fix the problem. All I can say is, pray they are cute. Okay, that sounded DESPERATE, but if I'm going to be stuck at home with no work internet access and no home internet access (on account of the phone issues) then the least I could hope for is a mild diversion right?

If it's fixed I might see you tomorrow, otherwise make the best of it with the Aussie Bum guys and don't break anything.


Kind Of Like Soft Core Porn, With Undies

One of my favourite fantasy internet boyfriends recently posted a hot pic of a particularly nice young man in his underpants.

That underpants label? Aussie Bum. The home of hotness.

Do they know their target market, or what?

A Tuesday Morning Walk-To-Work Haiku

Small Chinese lady
A twirling frangipani
In her fingertips

Monday, February 20, 2006

Yet More Botanical Porn

Pale Blue Vine
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Can't you just feel the heat of a hot Sydney afternoon in this pic? The harshness of the light? The deep shadows?

I took this photo a few weekends back, of a flowering vine growing on a neighour's front fence. Just a few streets over from where I live. It was a stinking hot day, so maybe it's just memory that makes me look at the strong light in this picture and think of hot Summer days.

Everyone In The World Has A Blog

...or so it seems sometimes.

As it turns out, the adorable slab of birthday boy from yesterday's trip to the mountains, Andrew F, has an online diary too. Go give him some loving, he deserves it.

On Making Frocks & Visiting The Mountains

Weekend recap time!

It was a pretty stinking hot weekend here in Sydney this past weekend. Saturday in particular was oppressively hot. After being weighed and processed at Fat Fighters* early on Saturday morning (2Kg down so far, take that love handles!) I spent the rest of the day with my friend Judy helping her plan, pattern and fit an Italian Renaissance gown for herself.

If you've read this blog for a while, and especially if you've read my 100 Things post, you might know that I'm a man who knows his way around a sewing machine. I trained as a milliner and have done lots of costuming work for myself and others in the past. I'm also a top class embroiderer.

Despite that, I'm quite the butchness, yo. :-)

Anyhoo, so Saturday was productive and I fitted a mock up of the bodice on Judy and we planned out the rest of her costume. By late afternoon the heat was too much so I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening in my little house forming a loving bond with my airconditioner and DVD player. This is a relationship made to last.

Sunday I had an invite to a birthday party for my friend Andrew at his home at Blackheath, in the Blue Mountains. Andrew attends the same Buddhist centre I do, and purely by coincidemce is also the graphic designer for the publication that my work produces each year. A friend of Andrew's, Mark, kindly picked myself and another friend up and gave us a lift to Blacheath, about an hour and a half out of Sydney. It was a lovely afternoon of eating Andrew's delicious food (don't tell Fat Fighters) and meeting new people, and we headed back to Sydney in the late afternoon.

Yesterday was also Fair Day, one of the events that celebrates the start of the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras season. I missed it because I was up in the mountains, but I decided to swing by The Newtown Hotel to see if Brendan and the A List Gays were having our usual Sunday late afternoon drinkie poos. Given that Fair Day is just up the road from my neighbourhood, The Newtown looked like every single 'mo in Sydney was in there. It was wall to wall beef. If the boys were there I couldn't find them, so I headed home and hung out with Bodhi for a while, watched some of the Winter Olympics, and then went to bed early, being able to look back over the weekend and say "we all had a lovely time".

* Of course I jest, this is the real Fat Fighters.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Caption This Photo

Come along and play the Caption This game. Go on, you know you want to.

Make Your World Beautiful In Your Eyes

I have incredible admiration for creativity, and especially when people follow their own particular (or even peculiar) vision. Take for instance Facteur Ferdinand Cheval who in his 40s found a beautiful stone by the road and was inspired to spend the next three decades creating the Palais Ideal. Ok, sure that tips over from 'vision' to 'obsession', but the legacy is remarkable. France seems to have its fair share of eccentric creators, case in point Robert Tatin's construction the Frenouse.

Here is a fabulous list of other folk art environments compiled by Kristin Fiore.

Colour & Movement

Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

I took this pic of the sculpture outside the Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour the other day, just before meeting up with the Sydney Photobloggers group for our trip to the Chinese Lantern Festival.

I like the rhythm of the colours and shapes, and the strong verticals and diagonals.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

5 Reasons To Paste A Smile On My Dial

  1. Going one notch tighter on the belt, without entering muffin top territory.
  2. The new reality tv show Baywatch Bondi Rescue, which may not exactly be great television, but hello! lifesavers and speedos. What's not to love? (Although the filming of the series has lead to at least one allegation of the lifeguards being somewhat distracted).
  3. Autumn is around the corner here, call me a freak but I love the changing of the seasons.
  4. Being grateful for the fact that Winter Olympics hotties aren't always rugged up. I just love quality journalism, don't you? [link via towleroad]
  5. Rich at FourFour just gets funnier and funnier. We don't even have Project Runway 2 on our screens here, and yet I look forward to his weekly recaps.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Aural Assault

It really struck me today as I was standing waiting for the lights to change at the corner of George & Market Streets, in the heart of Sydney, just how much noise you have to contend with in a big city. It's no wonder that most of us would discover, given a quiet enough space, that we have a background level of tinnitus. Today's assualt was courtesy of a busker with an electric guitar and an amplifier turned up waaaaay too loud on one corner, and a Christian Evangelist with a bullhorn on the other. The evening train ride home is often a deafening exercise, with too loud train announcements that sometimes run over the top of each other and trains that screech their way through the underground tunnels of the city stations.

Seriously, it all needs to just SHUT THE F*CK UP!

OK, better now.

Alone Time

All this talk of Valentine's Day and Fantasy Shags has me thinking about where I am at about relationships right now. I've posted a bit recently about wanting to date, about having interest from a couple of guys, and about feeling a bit more confident about things. About feeling more attractive.

It's interesting, because I'm feeling really relaxed about meeting someone. This is usually the time when it happens, right? When you give up the wanting, the needing, and think "eh, if it happens it would be nice". I'm not sure how or when the switch in my head was flicked, but I've definately had a change of attitude. I'm not sure where this sudden burst of confidence has come from, but I'm just going to run with it.

Originally uploaded by Other Andrew. Darling Harbour, Feb 11th 2006.

One thing that crosses my mind is that I've been depressed. Big "D" Depressed. It certainly would explain the sleeplessness and lethargy to a degree. If that's what it was, and I'm self-diagnosing here so I could be off the mark, it feels like past-tense. I mention that as an aside, because the important thing here is that I'm feeling good. Happy. More confident.

I'm sometimes too passive about meeting guys. Too hesitant to put my self-image on the line and ask someone out, too ready to sit back and wish for someone to make the first move. Too fearfull of rejection. I don't feel like that at the moment, I feel like throwing caution to the wind, and to not take it all too seriously, and just go out on a date. Dinner. Movies.

If anything comes of this, I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Valentine's Day Hit List

Valentine's Day is as good a day as any, in fact probably better than most, to resort to a little no-basis-in-reality fantasy, right? So, following the lead of two of my favourite peeps Sunshine and Yaniboy I decided to compile a special Valentine's Day Top 5 List.

The idea behind the Top 5 List principle is to name 5 people that you are allowed a Free Pass to sleep with (given the opportunity) that your partner is not allowed to feel jealous about. See how I mentioned the no-basis-in-reality bit?

Anyhoo, moving on. My list changes nearly daily, so here's this morning's version at least:

Top 5 Fantasy Shags

1. Jake Gyllenhall - Actor/Cowboy

2. Matthew Fox - Actor/Doctor/Castaway

3. Jeremy Sheffield - Actor/Ballet Dancer/Homosexualist

4. Jensen Ackles - Actor/Spook Hunter

5. Justin Theroux - Actor/Hair Product Aficionado

Anyone care to share your lists?

Today Is February 14th. You Do Get That It's Like VALENTINE'S DAY, Right?

Monday, February 13, 2006

Today is February 13th...

Can I Have Another Weekend? Please?

I'm labouring under a crushing dose of Mondayitis this morning. I slept incredibly badly last night, finding it hard to get to sleep, then taking a sleeping pill as a last resort and waking up muzzy headed. You know when you order a decaf coffee late in the day, when you don't normally drink coffee in the afternoon, and when the waiter brings you the coffee and you double check that it really is decaf? Well, sometimes they lie.

At least I can look back over the weekend and say I had a great time. Friday night I went to dinner at my friends Meaghan and James's house. James had invited a fascinating friend of his from work, a woman who had just packed in her highly paid advertising career to go and study Buddhist thangka painting. We got on really well, and had lots to talk about. She also introduced me to a quite tasty no-alcohol beer. Score! My friend Corinne was also there with her handsome new boyfriend. She is half way through the 3 year costume course at NIDA and her boyfriend is studying sound design. Aside from talking about theatre in general, and bitching about designers that cannot consider logistics to save their lives, one of the things we were discussing is how surreal it is that her little brother's band is starting to become internationally famous. They are being really heavily promoted here and have just headed off to L.A. to take a stab at the big time.

On Saturday afternoon I went to the regular meet-up for the Sydney Photoblogger group, which this month was at Darling Harbour for the Chinese Lantern Festival. I took lots of pics, until my battery ran low, and as I detailed in my previous post I had a really good time. Dinner was a highlight, such a nice group of people to chat and laugh with, and it was quite funny to watch the food arrive and everybody scrabble to take photos of it before it was eaten. I think the staff thought we were a bit nuts.

On Sunday I met up with Mikey and another friend Steve and we trolled around Westfield Bondi Junction for a few hours. The scene of my afternoon caffeine disaster. Afterwards I met up with Brendan and the A List Gays at The Newtown for a few drinks, then headed home for the usual Sunday night domestic duties and Carnivale watching. (The season finale, and it rocked!)

So, a really fun weekend but a tired Monday. Can I have another weekend, like, right now?

Lantern Festival

Lanterns 1
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

For the Flickr Sydney Photobloggers meet-up this month we met on Saturday late afternoon at Darling Harbour for The Chinese Lantern Festival, celebrating the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations.

Strange Woodland
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

It was a really fun night, which culminated in dinner at The Blackbird Cafe at Cockle Bay. I unfortunately ran out of battery power part way through the night, but still managed to catch a lot of the lanterns. For a look at everyone else's photos from the night try here.

Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

The animal character lanterns were cute, if not a little odd in some cases, and were the source of a lot of excitment for the kids in particular. I think some of the other phtotgraphers were a little bit disappointed that the festival wasn't bigger, but I enjoyed it. I found lots to photograph and enjoyed hanging out with the other Sydney Photobloggers.

Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

2006: Year Of The Dog

When I went for a lunchtime stroll the other day, I took a bunch of photos of the Year Of The Dog themed decorations around the city, and especially at World Square near Chinatown. All the pics I took are in this collection on Flickr, and I've posted a couple of them below. Colourful, don't you think?

2006: Year Of The Dog
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Streetside banners celebrating the Chinese horoscope Year Of The Dog, George St, Sydney.

Lantern Eyes
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Close up of the lantern eyes of the huge dog sculpture at the George St entrance to World Square.

Paw Prints
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Huge floral paw prints that wend through the arcades and across the square at World Square.

Here is a collection of all the other photos on Flickr 'tagged' Year Of The Dog.

Friday, February 10, 2006

The Wedding Banquet

If the tagline on the top of the cover of the DVD is any indication, it looks like the success of "Brokeback Mountain" has prompted the release (or is it re-release?) of Ang Lee's first gay themed movie The Wedding Banquet at the end of this month. I've mentioned previously that I saw and enjoyed this film very much, and I've been looking for it on the DVD store shelves for a while now without success. It looks like it should be in the stores in Australia at the start of March. WOOT!

Poolside Portulaccas

Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Something a little colourful to go with today's happy mood.

Portulaccas that were growing wild like weeds beside the swimming pool of my friends Ian & Steve. I love the way you seem to get different coloured blooms on the same plant, although I'm not sure if it's just a bunch of plants growing tightly together. Whichever it is, I love the colours.

If You're Happy And You Know It, Clap Your Hands!

It's Friday in my neck o' the woods and it feels like the weekend is here already. I only write about my moods when they are particularly high, or less often when they are particularly low, but the other 90% of the time I cruise along at a comfortable altitude. This is going to be one of those good mood posts.

I've been trying really hard this week to be disciplined about losing weight, eating better and getting more exercise. Losing weight the old fashioned way. It's kind of weird because I can be hugely lazy about this sort of thing, but when I flick the switch in my head to 'ON' and put in place some structure, then I respond really well to the discipline. Actually I respond very well to discipline. Anyone?

Anyhoo, I'm not sure what the exact number is, because me old bathroom scales are far from accurate, but I've dropped a noticeable amount of weight this week. I've only ever dieted once before and it looks like the pattern is the same this time around. A big loss in the first week (last time it was 3.4Kg or around 7 pounds) and then it settles down to the more realistic number of just under a Kg a week. This morning I put on a new polo shirt for work and my regular jeans, and there is a noticeable difference. So, yay me!

If that wasn't mood enhancing enough, my social life has really blossomed this week. Call it the last hurrah of Summer if you will. I was futzing around the house last night, just about to jump in the shower to go out and meet up with my friend Brendan and the A List Gays, when I thought I heard someone at the front door. I wasn't sure, but then there was a quiet rattling of the screen door again.

I went to the door and standing there was a guy had met back in December called Christopher. Christopher lives one street over from me, and I met him when we shared a cab ride home from the airport just after Christmas. Prior to that I had seen him around the neighbourhood and we had done a bit of casual cruising of each other on the street. We chatted, phone numbers were exchanged, it was very pleasant. He's off to hospital for an operation for an undisclosed ailment, but afterwards there might be a date in the offing. He has nice eyes and an easy laugh. I like that.

Afterwards I met up with Brendan and the A List Gays and had a really great evening. Any reticence I felt about these guys being 'party boys' and 'out of my league' just shows where my insecurities lie, because in truth they are a warm and friendly bunch of guys. We had drinks, dinner, and then went to The Imperial to see the 10pm drag show (and as it turned out the 11pm one as well, and almost stayed for the midnight one...). I hadn't seen a weeknight drag show at The Impy and it was hysterical, and much filthier than the weekend show.

By the end of the evening we had made arrangements for meeting up on late Sunday afternoon again and even for a camping trip later in the year. Oh, and I've continued to hit it off very well with one of the guys, so who knows? There may be a date in the offing sometime as well. I'm kind of in the mood to date in the old fashioned sense. Take things slow, get to know each other and see if a potential for a relationship is there. Not jump straight into the sack, or rush to RELATIONSHIP without passing GO (or collecting $200).

I think this is all connected. Even though I've just started to lose weight I already feel better, look a little better and am more confident. I'm not very overweight by any stretch, I'm technically about 7.5Kg (15-20 pounds I think)overweight for my size, but because of my size (small) any extra weight is very noticeable and sits on my belly and chest as Chunk. My attitude towards myself has changed and that confidence just has to have a knock on affect, surely? Confidence is attractive.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Lunchtime Stroll

I took those itchy feet of mine for a lunchtime walk today. Just through the city streets, down to World Square and back, with a detour into JB HiFi to grab a copy of the Serenity DVD. It's so lovely out today, the sun is shining and it's a mild 25C (around 80F). Business suit cuties are stripped down to the shirtsleeves and the road workers have for the most part taken off their shirts. Life's good.

I took my camera along for the stroll, snapped some of the Year of The Dog themed decorations that are lining the streets, and that get more in evidence as you get closer to Chinatown. I've raved about Sydney a number of times on this blog, but the city is looking fine today. The old dame's been tarted up a bit with planter boxes and colourful banners, the sky is a huge bowl of blue and there's just enough breeze to make it all pleasant.


Click It!

My friend, frequent commentor, and now flatmate Bodhi sent me this link yesterday and it's pretty darn funny. Go ahead and get clicking.

You're welcome.

Attaining Serenity

Mine! Mine! All Mine!

Released today, so you just know I just had to go and get it. Yes, I'm a nerd.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

What Would Nicole Ritchie Do?

I swear, I don't know how these tiny Hollywood bag ladies do it. I'm dieting and it's hard yo. Not least of which because I know there is an open packet of Mint Slices in the office refridgerator.

When the room is quiet enough, they actually do have a siren call that's just audible. Bitches.

For Michael Guy

Pink hibiscus
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Returning the favour.

I figure, it's the least I can do. Especially since he's too far away for me to try and french kiss him.


I've got ichy feet today. A feeling like there's something else I should be doing, something fun, something out there. Anywhere. Certainly not at my desk, and especially not processing these invoices and cheques.

I want to walk in the park, go to the Art Gallery, look up at the spreading limbs of the huge Morton Bay Fig trees and watch the birds. Maybe go down to the water, down to the Quay to watch the buskers, or maybe to lean out over the water and see how many jellyfish I can count.

What would you rather be doing right now?

Monday, February 06, 2006

Backlit Hibiscus

Backlit Hibiscus
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

More botanical porn. I loved the light shining through this bright pink hibiscus that was growing righ beside the footpath in Newtown, turning it translucent.

Purple Hibiscus

Purple Hibiscus 2
Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

Gorgeous maroon and purple hibiscus blooming by the footpath in one of the back streets of Newtown. Summer might be getting close to drawing towards a close, but not just yet!

A Weekend of Fabulousness

It's Monday morning in my neck of the woods, so it's time to cast a critical eye over the weekend. This week it was a busy weekend that tipped the scales on the side of fabulousness. What a great weekend I had!

Friday night I kicked off the weekend with a frenzied bout of bathroom cleaning and then some "alone time" on The Interwebsuperhighway with the new Kate Bush cd "Aerial" playing in my headphones. What, not your idea of a good Friday night? Well, it was the end of a long and tiring work week for me, and a night that combined the satisfaction of the righteous (bathroom cleaning) and the satisfaction of new Kate Bush songs to listen to and "me time" with The Interweb, well that was just what I needed.

Last week I took a long hard look at myself and decided The Chunk was getting out of control, so on Saturday morning I went and rejoined Fat Fighters, which was a painless and somewhat encouraging experience. (Don't worry, this isn't about to become My Weight-Loss Diary.) Afterwards I went to a meeting to help start organising the April relocation to new larger premisis of the Buddhist centre I attend.

In the afternoon I went to a lovely Engagement Party for two friends, Miss Krin and my old flatmate David (aka Fitz). An overcast afternoon turned into a mild night, and it was lovely to be out in the garden chatting with people I hadn't seen for a while, with good friends and with an ever increasing number of kids underfoot. Along the way I discovered that yet another friend has just started up a blog that I wasn't aware of. The afternoon turned into late evening and I headed home sometime after midnight.

Sunday morning I went over to my friends Spyder & Gordy's house for breakfast, to further catch up with friends that were in town from Melbourne and Canberra for the engagement party. A lazy morning of sitting outside, eating non-Fat Fighters approved beakfast goodies, patting the naughty Whippets and laughing up a storm with my favourite group of smartarses was a great start to the day. Afterwards I headed into the Buddhist centre to teach someone how to use the database, step one towards handing off the responsibility for doing the data entry, w00t! In the afternoon I took a few pics as I walked through the backstreets of Newtown on my way to King St, and then after passing The Dendy cinema in Newtown I decided to see the movie Mrs Henderson Presents, which was lots of fun. The film let out around 5pm, and I had floated the idea of afternoon drinkies at The Newtown Hotel with my old friend Brendan, so I swung by there to see if he was there and he was! I hung out for a couple of hours with him and the A List Gays on what turned out to be a busy late afternoon at The Newtown, and met a couple of nice new guys. One of whom I took quite a shine to, and if the warmth of his goodbye was anything to go by (a smooch that combined arm stroking and a big hug) then that shine might be reciprocated. :-)

Sunday night was the somewhat usual laundry, making dinner, watching Carnivale on tv etc, the end of a busy and fun weekend.

How was yours?

Friday, February 03, 2006


Originally uploaded by vic..

In Flickr you can bookmark people as "contacts", so that their photo collections are easy to find again, and so that you can see their most recent photos. That way its easy to tell when they have updated.

I realised that I have three types of contacts; 1) people I have a connection with either as pre-existing friends, people whose blogs I read or people I have met through Flickr meet-ups, 2) people who have listed me as a contact and I in turn have made them a contact and 3) hot guys who post pictures of themsleves.

Anyone care to take a stab at which category Vic falls into?

Does That Include Emotional Baggage?

Who knew that there was such a thing as a store that specialised in selling people's unclaimed baggage? Apparently they buy the bags from the airlines after the statutory period for claim has expired, sort the contents, and sell them at vastly reduced prices like a regular second hand store.

If you thought the airlines were better these days at making sure that people and their baggage stayed together, well the store is huge and takes up a whole city block. That's a lot of bags. It begs the question though, if you lost a bag that had a diamond & platinum ring in it, a huge emerald or a live rattlesnake (all real items that the 'unpackers' found), then wouldn't you try harder to claim your bag?

I wonder if they have to check any sort of stolen goods register? Not that I think the snake might be stolen...

NostalgiaFest 2006

So, by now you all know about my DVD addiction, right? I may be getting pretty close to requiring an intervention. I would consider getting myself barred from JB HiFi the way some problem gamblers get themselves barred from casinos and clubs, except I think that would really be expecting too much 'service' from the slackerbots that 'work' at JB HiFi in Galeries Victoria.

(To the young woman that 'served' me the other day - calling me "mate" while you give me my change does not go anywhere near close to negating the complete lack of eye contact and the waves of disinterest/contempt coming off you. Just so you know. Also, I feel bad for the poor woman who has to constantly announce "DVD Staff to the counter" over the PA because the slackerbots are all hanging out in the storeroom discussing the merits of Kraftwerk's early catalogue.)

Um, but I digress.

I've been on a bit of a British comedy nostalgia kick this week. The seed of this was sowed in an unlikely way. At breakfast a couple of weekends ago Owen's phone rang and his ringtone was the theme music from the '70s British comedy Man About The House. For those of the American pursuasion who might be reading this, "Man About The House" was the original that your Three's Company was based on. Likewise, the popular spin-off George & Mildred was the inspiration for the US version The Ropers, although the second spin off from "Man About The House" Robin's Nest was never made into a US version. I bought Season 1 of "Man About The House" and Season 1 of "George & Mildred" the other day, and have been cackling ever since.

I had forgotten just how funny "Man About The House" actually was, even though I had really fond memories from watching it as a kid, and how racy it was in the context of its time. Chrissy in particular gets some great zinger one liners, and the clothes and decor are comedy material all on their own. Yootha Joyce (Mildred) is soooo camply fabulous, in a '70s sherry-soaked and smelling of ciggies way, and I secretly covet her wardrobe of high waisted sans-a-belt slacks. Not a natural fibre in sight. Ah the '70s!

Do yourself a favour and check them out sometime, they've stood the test of time surprisingly well.

Thursday, February 02, 2006


Originally uploaded by Other Andrew.

I love the way this cactus was wearing this beautiful big bloom at a jaunty angle, like a cocktail hat.

There's No Smoke Without Fire

I seem to be surrounded by a sudden flurry of friends and work colleagues that are giving up smoking. A move which I applaud wholeheartedly. I've seen a bunch of people who have tried to quit, some with success, and I've seen how hard it is.

I don't usually hassle people about their smoking, but I'm quite strongly anti-smoking. My late Dad was a chronic chain smoker all this life, and even a quadruple heart bypass, an aneurism and a collection of small strokes wasn't enough incentive for him to quit. He'd been smoking since he was about 13, so I guess it was like oxygen to him after all those years. Before the awareness of passive smoking I can remember being trapped in a smoke filled car wherever we went, and having ciggie smoke be a normal thing around the house. I can't really remember my Dad without a lit cigarette in his hand. It's no surprise that my sister and I have both had a history of chest problems, given the smoke we were exposed to as children. My oldest sister was raised by my non-smoking grandparents when she was small, as my mother was in hospital for a bunch of years with polio, scarlet fever and tuberculosis. So I guess she missed out on the effects of passive smoke when she was little and at her most vulnerable.

My Mum was a vehement anti-smoker, which made for a source of tension in the house. She always resented the cost of Dad's smokes, and before I was born we had some lean income years in England and she would sometimes have to cut her own food budget to be able to afford his smokes. A concept which just beggars belief. It's cruel irony that the cancer which finished her off was lung cancer, although given that it was a secondary cancer from her breast cancer primary it might not have been directly related to passive smoking. Both my sisters smoke, something which even as adults they tried to keep a secret from Mum as they knew how strongly she felt about it.

I don't have an addictive personality, jokes about my DVD 'habit' aside, so I have never formed an addiction to anything. I used to enjoy drinking socially on weekends, but one day just stopped. I tried smoking to be cool when I was about 13, probably smoking about 10 cigarettes in total, and hated it. I resisted drugs of any sorts in my 20s, had a few mild experiments in my 30s but could count them in total on both hands. So I understand the physical aspects of addiction, and I think I have a fair idea about the mental aspects, but the mind set isn't something I can directly relate to. I struggle to comprehend how someone can do something that is that physically bad for them, and especially persevering through the early stages of smoking when it is pretty gross. I guess most smokers start young, when the peer pressure (or whatever motivation for it) is strong enough to overcome the discomfort.

So, those who decide to give it up, I salute you! Any smokers (or ex smokers) care to weigh in on this?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Are You Up For A Challenge?

Mikey (the lovely ex) just sent me an email to clue me in on the Survivor 12 Gaydar Challenge over at The Malcontent. You know there is usually at least one 'mo on the show (even if they aren't about to admit it openly *cough*Brian*cough*), so let's see if you can pick who's the one. Or two? Or three?...

Oh, and don't go basing your decision on anything as shallow and stereotyping as who looks like they'd be good at the challenges, because remember that our favourite little red headed Mormon homosexualist from last season rocked at the challenges. Instead I concur with The Malcontent, let Gayface be your guide.

Tears Before Bedtime

After a really bad night of tossing and turning on Monday night, and only getting a few hours sleep, I woke Tuesday morning with a fever and a sore ear. Yup, I think I either picked up an ear infection from my friends' pool or it's another episode in my ongoing sinus/ear/throat scenario. A visit to the doc this morning and a scrip for antibiotics should do the trick.

Consequently, yesterday I ignored the interweb in favour of lying on the couch feeling small 'd' depressed, looking scruffy and unshaved, eating comfort food and getting teary at an episode of Everwood* (and just about anything else on tv actually). Yes, yesterday I was that person.

*In my defence, poor Marcia Cross's character has HIV, and there was shunning by the townspeople, and actually it looks like her brother's medical practice might have to close, and that nice Mr Treat Williams broke up with her because his kids (especially his kinda cute son) were scared... It was quite moving, actually. Oh, and "Everwood" (which I had never heard of before yesterday) was created by Greg Berlanti, who wrote and directed one of my favourite gay films "The Broken Hearts Club"!